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August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26

What They Says

Geraldine Malone
Published Thursday February 18, 06:43 pm
Want to see Rae Spoon’s Armour? That can be arranged

Rae Spoon
Le Relais
Sunday 28

It’s been a few years since Rae Spoon opened up their life, completely vulnerable, with a documentary and album both titled My Prairie Home.

It was a showcase of Spoon on a different level, well outside their usual fan base, and the album was listed for the Polaris Music Prize while the documentary was played at the Sundance Film Festival. It also led to Spoon’s first foray into authorship, penning two books about growing up and discovering their gender identity.

For someone who started as a country musician in small town Alberta, My Prairie Home was a new level of notoriety, a more pronounced role as an LGBTQ spokesperson, and the beginning of a path to a more developed and powerful sound.

Spoon’s new album, Armour, just dropped, with an upbeat message of conquest and strength yet also highlighting the vulnerability they first became known for.

“It was my first album I’ve produced by myself, so it was kind of like, that means I have the last call on everything,” says Spoon.

That means they brought in analogs and synthesizers, and Spoon says they were “a bit more hands on about all of the sounds.”

“I think on Armour, I just let myself write whatever I want,” they says.“Prairie Home was very much tied into the book, it was tied into the direction of the film and talking to [the director] about what we were going to be exploring. It was cool to be like, I’m just going to write songs about my feelings and the themes just kind of came up when I was writing. I felt like I kind of came back to why I really started.”

The new album reflects the changes in Spoon’s life: they travelled the world, met Tracy Chapman, moved across the country and met the love of their life. But the world itself also changed in that time. People are talking about transgender rights and issues in the mainstream. Newspapers don’t even blink about using the gender neutral pronoun “they” instead of “he” or “she”.

For Spoon, it’s about time.

“I felt like I was just waiting,” they says. “It makes me feel very optimistic, and hopefully more spaces are being created all the time for people.”

But more spaces are still needed. That’s why Spoon makes a point about who they plays with at each stop on their cross-Canada tour — making room for female, non-binary, and LGBTQ musicians. In Saskatoon, they’ll be playing with Homo Monstrous, Ursa, and respectfulchild at Le Relais (308 4th Ave N) on Feb. 28.

“The music scene needs to do more anti-racism work, more pro-feminist work, [have] less transphobia and more accessible venues,” Spoon says. “I think there is a long way to go with that.”

Spoon will also be giving a free talk at OUTSaskatoon Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. When asked how they have energy for a full cross-country tour and free talks, Spoon lets out a big laugh.

“I basically just lay on my couch when I’m at home,” they laugh.

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